Key to Species

Fruit globular, yellow 236. O. brasiliensis

Fruit clavate to oblong, red.

Fruit oblong, 3 to 4 cm. long 237. O. bahiensis

Fruit clavate, 5 cm. long 238. O. argentina

236. Opuntia brasiliensis (Willdenow) Haworth, Suppl. Pl. Succ. 79. 1819.

Cactus brasiliensis Willdenow, Enum. Pl. Suppl. 33. 1813

Cactus paradoxus Hornemann, Hort. Hafn. 2: 443. 1815.

Cactus arboreus Vellozo, Fl. Flum. 207. 1825.

Opuntia arborea Steudel, Nom. ed. 2. 2: 220. 1841.

Cereusparadoxus Steudel, Nom. ed. 2. 1: 335. 1841.

Becoming 4 meters high, with a cylindric woody trunk and a small rounded top; old trunk either naked or spiny; branches dimorphic, the lateral ones horizontal, terete; the terminal joints flat and leaf-like, many of these in time dropping off; flowers 5 to 5.5 cm. long; petals yellow, oblong, obtuse; filaments very short; fruit yellow, globular, 3 to 4 cm. in diameter, with a low or nearly truncate umbilicus, bearing large areoles; seed usually one, very woolly, 10 mm. broad.

Type locality: Near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Distribution: Southern Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, and central Bolivia. Naturalized in southern Florida.

A number of varieties of this species appear in literature, of which we may mention the following: minor Pfeiffer (Enum. Cact. 169. 1837); schomburgkii Salm-Dyck (Cact. Hort. Dyck. 1849. 74. 1850); spinosior Salm-Dyck (Hort. Dyck. 184. 1834); tenuifolia Forbes (Hort. Tour Germ. 159. 1837); and tenuior Salm-Dyck (Hort. Dyck. 376. 1834).

Dr. John H. Barnhart recently called our attention to a number of cactus names published by St. Hilaire which have been overlooked by later writers. One of these, Cactus heterocladus St. Hilaire (Voy. Rio de Janeiro and Minas Geraes 2: 103. 1830) seems to belong here, as the following free translation would indicate:

"Another cactus, which I have already seen near Rio de Janeiro, raised its branches in the midst of tortuous lianas; its trunk, which grows more slender from the base to the summit, is covered with fascicles of spines arranged in a quincunx, and it shows various stages of verticillate, horizontal, rounded branches, to the number of seven in each whorl; these branches, like those of the spruce tree, grow shorter toward the summit of the plant, and they bear secondary branches, flattened and oval-oblong, which may in a certain sense be taken as leaves."

Illustrations: Curtis's Bot. Mag. 61: pl. 3293; Dept. Agr. N. S. W. Misc. Publ. 253: pl. [6]; Martius, Fl. Bras. 42: pl. 61; Pfeiffer and Otto, Abbild. Beschr. Cact. 1: pl. 29; Schumann, Gesamtb. Kakteen f. 100; Vellozo, Fl. Flum. 5: pl. 28, this last as Cactus arboreus.

Plate xxx, figure 2, represents a flowering joint taken from a specimen in the New York Botanical Garden;

Fig. 268.—Opuntia brasiliensis.

Fig. 268.—Opuntia brasiliensis.

figure 3 is from the same plant, showing terete and flat joints. Figure 267 represents a fruit collected by Dr. Rose near Iguaba Grande, Brazil, in 1915; figure 268 is from a photograph taken by Paul G. Russell in a public park in Bahia, Brazil.

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